After years of work, on the longest day of the year,
Mike Foley sent Chris Sharma’s Dreamcatcher (5.14d) on the Cacodemon Boulder in Squamish, British Columbia. Foley’s is the fifth-known ascent
of the route.
“I knew it would happen someday. I definitely felt physically capable of doing it a long time ago. I knew I just needed to be patient and wait for the
right moment,” Foley said in an interview with Squamish Climbing magazine.
Sharma and Canadian climber Sonnie Trotter bolted the line in 2005 during a Petzl RocTrip to Squamish. Neither climber made an ascent during the trip,
but Sharma returned that fall to complete the project.
Dreamcatcher was repeated by Sean McColl in 2009 and Ben Harnden in 2012. In February
2015, Adam Ondra nearly flashed the route despite wet conditions, but his heel popped off and he fell at the pin scars [watch the video here]. Ondra did not get back on to send the route. In August 2016, Alex Megos made the fourth ascent of the route.
Foley, from Lincoln, Massachusetts, began climbing at age 11. He
made a name in the competition climbing scene when in 2007 he became Junior National Champion in bouldering. He then claimed the Junior National Champion
title for lead in 2008 and again in 2009, as well as Continental Champion in lead in 2009. He left the States to go to university in B.C. where he
became hooked on Dreamcatcher, among other climbs.
“At a certain point the route became more of an idea of just accomplishing a goal that I set for myself,” he told Squamish Climbing magazine. “This whole process has taught me a lot about patience, focus, and the importance of self confidence.”
Recently, Foley had been playing with different shoes and beta on Dreamcatcher. In the past, for the crux he used a crossover instead of Sharma’s
bump beta, because the bump seemed “too wild/powerful,” he told Squamish Climbing magazine. “But in the moment [on the send], I acted on instinct, closed hand death crimped the left hand and
kicked hard with the left foot and found myself latching the massive jug around the corner.” From there, after regaining his composure from the surprise,
he took it to the top.
“The end of an era … This has been my longest and most mentally challenging endeavor of my climbing career. Hands down my proudest achievement,” Foley
posted on Instagram. “Coming back to work today feels surreal.
Mixed feelings of relief, excitement, and disbelief. So many thanks to everyone who has helped me along way.”
Other notable ascents of Foley’s include Jaws II (5.15a) and China Glide (5.14d) in Rumney, New Hampshire; and a near flash ascent of
the eight-pitch bolted route Black Dyke (5.13b), and Zombie Roof (5.12d) in Squamish.
Mike Foley sends Dreamcatcher (5.14d):